Corruption and education

Education policy booklet series No. 11
2010, 30 p. e-publication

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The booklet identifies a number of factors that have placed the issue of corruption in education higher on the agenda during the last decade. It refers in particular to several international conventions, to various research works and to specific challenges facing the education sector, such as the decentralization of educational funding and management, the growing competition among both students and schools, and the boom in new technologies.

The booklet then reviews several tools to assess corrupt practices within the education sector, such as public expenditure tracking surveys, quantitative service delivery surveys, and report cards. It identifies several criteria for their success, especially the wide dissemination of their findings. It also emphasizes that these assessments often neglect key dimensions, such as the effects of corruption on the development of attitudes and value systems.

The booklet demonstrates that improving transparency and accountability in the education sector requires concerted action on three mains fronts: developing transparent regulation systems and standards, building management capacity, and promoting greater ownership of administrative and financial processes. Each of these areas is illustrated by presenting practical cases taken from international experience.

The booklet concludes on the importance of changing attitudes, in particular by adopting codes of conduct, strengthening institutional capacities in some key areas such as management, accounting or audit, promoting the right to information of users and, more broadly, displaying strong political will at all levels of the system.